Nothing brings out the morass of illogic, paranoia and dystopian alternate reality of Ford Nation more than an allegation brought against its titular head, Mayor Rob Ford. Scandal is what they feed off, proof that a vast conspiracy is perpetually at work in an attempt to discredit, humiliate and ultimately topple the duly elected mayor with a mandate from power. These people – everybody who does not whole-heartedly support the mayor – will stop at nothing to achieve their nefarious ends.
Yes, real life like some badly written comic book.
They are the Oz’s flying monkey brigade, just waiting for a signal from their leader to tear an opponent to shreds.
Never mind Mayor Ford’s past behaviour. It does not factor into their reasoning. An attack has been launched against him. Maximum damage must be inflicted upon the transgressor.
I am not suggesting the mayor is guilty of what Sarah Thomson has accused him of. How would I know? I wasn’t at the event in question.
But for the life of me, I cannot figure out what Ms. Thomson has to gain by making such a false allegation. Media attention? Sure, but to what end? She garners plenty of media attention already – she is part of the media. I’d argue she’s very good at keeping herself in the public eye.
Here’s one theory that was bandied about as I understood it:
A striving but perpetually unsuccessful political candidate makes false allegations of a sexual nature against a mayor in order to generate publicity for herself and discredit him. This will enhance her chances at victory come next election. It is a tried and true tactical strategy that has launched the careers all those other women like… And I’ll pause here to wait for you to fill in that blank as I’m coming up empty in an attempt to provide any actual examples.
While Ms. Thomson has been unsuccessful to date in winning any election she’s run in, this interpretation of events paints someone so desperate to achieve her ends that she will stop at nothing including slander and libel. She’s a media hound. She’s flakey. How did Mayor Ford put it on his radio show today? “I don’t know if she’s playing with a full deck.”
Such a torturous, scorched earth route to get from point A to B when the shortest way would be to look at the mayor’s own past behaviour. Outbursts of public loutishness. Check. Immediate denials. Check. Heavy-handed dismissal of accusers. Check.
Again. That’s not to say Mayor Ford is guilty of what he’s been accused of. How would I know one way or the other? I’m just saying his supporters are working hard to prop up the least likely explanation.
But there are inconsistencies to Thomson’s story! She said she was drinking cranberry juice but somebody else said she was drinking scotch. She said the mayor told him he was alone down in Florida but we all know he went down with his family. She said she told his staff about his behaviour but his staff said they never talked to her at the event.
In this version of the story, only Sarah Thomson had motivation to lie. No one else. Not the mayor. Not the mayor’s staff. Thomson just created layer and layers of lies in order to prop up her original lie.
But we have three witnesses! Ford Nation exclaims. Sarah Thompson has none. So case closed. The Mayor is innocent.
Never mind that two of those witnesses, Richmond Hill councillors, Carmine Perrelli and Greg Beros, in no way refute Thomson’s initial claim. Everyone seems to agree that she joined their group after she had her picture taken with the mayor, saying he’d just grabbed her ass. You need proof of that, came the response. So Thomson and her assistant went back to see if they could get a picture of the mayor grabbing somebody else’s ass. The Set Up, as the media subsequently called it.
None of this undercuts Thomson’s original claim.
OK, but what about Jordan Falkenstein, the eye witness who came forward to state that he did not see anything untoward going on between the mayor and Ms. Thomson. He was waiting in line for a picture with the mayor when Thomson butted in front of him. So he got a bird’s eye view and can say with absolute certainty that at no time did he see Mayor Ford grab Ms. Thomson’s ass.
But imagine if you will, Mr. Falkenstein on the stand in a court of law.
So, there you were, Mr. Falkenstein, waiting for your turn to get a picture with Mayor Ford and this woman just barges in front of you. You’re cool with that, you say. No hard feelings. She then starts talking ‘in a cynical tone’, you say, to the mayor. You don’t hear the specifics and all the while this is happening, you don’t take your eyes off of the mayor’s right hand which you say stayed on her shoulder the entire time. That’s all you’re looking at, the mayor’s hand. You swear under oath that at no time during that entire exchange you diverted your gaze from his hand.
By its very nature, the kind of behaviour the mayor is accused of by Ms. Thomson is surreptitious, intended not to be seen by anyone else. Providing someone who says they did not see what was never intended for them to see is a pretty wobbly nail to hang your argument on. Yet it’s being touted as the final nail in the coffin of both Thomson’s claim and political career.
None of this, let me re-iterate, goes to proving the opposite, that Mayor Ford did and said what he’s been accused of doing and saying. It remains his word against her word. But the degree to which his supporters have leapt to his defense and so totally vilified Sarah Thompson is both disturbing and instructive.
For them, his pattern of previous behaviour has no bearing on his present actions. Instead, it’s all about concocting dark motivations of his accusers and demanding explanations from them that they in no way ask from the mayor. It’s almost as if an attack on him is an attack on them. To question him is to question their support of him. If Mayor Ford is capable of doing all the things he’s been accused of doing that would mean that those who supported him made a bad choice. That’s a tough pill to swallow. Nobody likes admitting they might be wrong.
Instead of entertaining that possibility, Ford Nation goes to extraordinary lengths to create the unlikeliest of scenarios where they are right, where they’ve always been right and where they will always continue to be right. In such a world, everyone else has to be wrong. There is no stone of unreason they will not turn, no hypothetical too outrageous to run up the flag pole in order for that reality to happen.
— matter-of-factly submitted by Cityslikr